Newspaper article News Sentinel

Planned Parenthood Cutoff Complete

Newspaper article News Sentinel

Planned Parenthood Cutoff Complete

Article excerpt


Activists said funds paid for abortions

Gov. Bill Haslam made the statement in response to a questionnaire from the Tennessee Newspaper Network in a project called: "Tennessee's Governor's Race: Compare the Candidates." The project was a comparison of the gubernatorial candidates' positions on issues published before the 2010 elections.

Tennessee anti-abortion activists and legislators had tried for years to end about $1.1 million per year in federal "Title X" family- planning contracts with Planned Parenthood in Memphis and Nashville, which they argued subsidized abortions - a charge that Planned Parenthood vigorously denied and which would be illegal under state and federal law.

The two Planned Parenthood affiliates had received the annual grants since the 1970s, under contract with the Davidson and Shelby counties' public health departments. They used the money to provide family planning services - including birth control counseling, drugs and devices - and health services like testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and screenings for breast and cervical cancers.

In 93 of Tennessee's 95 counties, the local health departments could provide those services themselves, but the large populations in Davidson and Shelby counties left the local health departments unable to cover them all, so they contracted with Planned Parenthood to help provide services.

The governor's office, responding Jan. 12, 2012, to our question on this, marked Haslam's promise to end these contracts as "Fulfilled. …

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